Know who you are! If you do not know who you are or what you are seeking, you surely will not be able to convey that to a prospective employer. Take time and figure out what you want to do and where you want to do it. Complete a career interest inventory assessment. Job shadow someone in your chosen field(s). The more you know about yourself, the more focused you can be with your search.
Be professional! With everything you think, say and do, always present yourself in a professional manner. Change the name of your email address and voice message to something that represents you as a professional. Proofread all correspondence (twice!) before you hit send. Make sure your resume is perfect, no errors! Always answer your phone as if this is the call that could change your life. Dress appropriately. It is better to be over dressed than under dressed. Employers want to hire someone who will represent their organization well and hit the ground running.
Practice your interview techniques! If you want to be a better golfer, what do you do? Practice! The same is true with interviewing. Practice your elevator speech, that 45 second intro that provides an overview of who you are and what you are seeking. Understand yourself, what do you do well and where are you improving. Provide detailed examples of your successes and challenges. Emphasize what you can do for them … not what they can do for you.
Use all resources available to you! Network with family and friends. Utilize all web based resources, I recommend LinkedIn. Connect with Career Services. Join professional organizations, attend networking events. Do not be afraid to introduce yourself and let people know you are seeking employment. Keep your network updated on your progress. The more opportunities your create for yourself, the better chance you will have landing that ideal next step. Write thank you notes to everyone. You never know when you might need their assistance again or you can help them out.
Be confident! Believe in yourself and your abilities. If you don’t ... who will?
by Mike Theobald